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Half of all retirees have to make big spending cuts within five years of retiring, study says. Will you be one of them?

by Christy Bieber / Motley Fool

Running short of money is the biggest fear of many retirees. Unfortunately, it can happen sooner than you think. In fact, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, only 51% of retirees who left work between 1992 and 2014 had enough income to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years.

Sadly, for those retirees who ran short after just half a decade, big spending cuts quickly became necessary. In fact, those who couldn't continue to spend at the same level ended up reducing their expenses by 28% by their sixth year of retirement compared to their expenditures in year one.

Having to reduce your outflows by more than one-fourth so soon after leaving work can have a major impact on your quality of life. The good news is that there are two key things you can do if you're still working or newly retired so you can make sure this doesn't happen to you.

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